I have a sweet tooth, or more likely, sweet teeth. Cookies are one of my favorite things, but I try to limit my intake as part of our whole eating healthy routine. I was hoping that pregnancy would curb my interest in cookies, though, sadly, it has not.
This calls for pregnancy cookies. I’ve seen lactation cookies and weight loss cookies, so why not pregnancy cookies?
When inventing these, I tried to include ingredients that would meet the needs of pregnant women, which include the following:
- Vitamin A - Assists in the development of bones and teeth
- Folic acid/Folate – Helps support the placenta and prevents neural tube defects
- Iron – Prevents anemia, low birth weight, and premature birth weight
- Pyrioxine/B6 – Helps form red blood cells and helps with morning sickness
- Protein – Assists in the production of amino acids; repairs cells
- Thiamin/B1 – Raises energy level and helps regulate immune system
- Fiber – Helps reduce constipation during pregnancy
So these cookies include sunflower seeds (high in thiamin, B6, folate and protein), oat flour (higher in iron, protein and fiber than all purpose flour), blackstrap molasses (high in iron with way more nutritional value than white sugar), and dried apricots (lots of fiber and vitamin A).
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup oat flour
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 5 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup toasted, hulled sunflower seeds
- 6 oz. dried apricots, chopped
In a large bowl, combine the flours, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Mix thoroughly.
In your mixer bowl, cream softened butter, applesauce and sugar. I cheated a little and used closer to ¾ of a cup of sugar rather than a full cup. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add two eggs, beaten and vanilla and molasses. It can be tricky to find blackstrap molasses – I had an old bottle in my cupboard (though I included the wrong one in the ingredient photo), but I didn’t see it at the two grocery stores I checked. It’s probably available at health food stores. If you can’t find blackstrap molasses, just pick whatever brand has the highest iron content.
Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stopping to scrape the bowl frequently.
Stir in the chopped apricots and sunflower seeds. You might want to use unsulfured apricots, if you can find them. When you’re buying sunflower seeds, it’s fine if they are roasted and salted, but make sure they don’t have any other seasoning on them – like garlic or onion powder (you actually have to read the ingredients, as it often doesn’t say on the label).
Drop dough by teaspoonfuls on to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper – it really prevents things from sticking (and makes clean-up way easier, which is my favorite part).
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. Take trays out of oven, and allow cookies to cool on parchment paper for at least five minutes.
The finished cookies are moist and chewy - they taste healthy, but in a good way. They’d probably make a great breakfast.
Do you have a go-to sweet treat during pregnancy that’s healthy and tasty?